The Canadian Forces' (CF) deployable hospital, 1 Canadian Field Hospital, was deployed to Haiti after an earthquake that caused massive devastation. Two surgical teams performed 167 operations over a 39-day period starting 17 days after the index event. Most operations were unrelated to the earthquake. Replacing or supplementing the destroyed local surgical capacity for a brief period after a disaster can be a valuable contribution to relief efforts. For future humanitarian operations/disaster response missions, the CF will study the feasibility of accelerating the deployment of surgical capabilities.
The present study concerns the air quality and microbiological contamination in two newly built operating theatres; one with laminar air flow (LAF) equipment for cardio-thoracic operations, and one with conventional ventilation for urological operations. Both theatres had an identical number of air exchanges (17/h), identical microclimatic conditions and they employed the same cleaning procedures. In the LAF-ventilated operating theatre bacterial contamination of the air was effectively reduced to less than 10 colony-forming units (CFU)/m3 in all 125 samples (1 m3 per sample) tested. In most samples, 118/125, the bacterial count was less than 5 CFU/m3, despite the presence of ten persons. The conventionally ventilated theatre reached values up to 120 CFU/m3 during the most active period of the day when approximately seven persons were present. The LAF ventilation reduced both the content of particles in the air and contamination by bacteria on the floor. In both theatres cleaning procedures had only a low impact on CFU in the air and on the floor. The use of diathermia markedly increased the level of small particles in the air, and this may influence the air quality in the operating theatres.
Delivery of obstetrical care in rural Alaska can be very challenging, due to remoteness, lack of medical resources and transportation difficulties. This descriptive study looks at what the current delivery systems for obstetrical care in Alaska are. Alaska's obstetrical delivery systems can be divided into three basic systems. 1) Full comprehensive obstetrical care limited only by lack of neonatal ICU capability. 2) Cesarean delivery capable, but with limited resources. 3) Low risk vaginal deliveries with no cesarean delivery capability except by transports approaching 6 hours. This study raises questions about which system is most effective for which communities. Further studies need to be undertaken to better understand how to provide effective obstetrical care in rural and bush Alaska at an acceptable risk, and at reasonable cost.
The shortage of anesthesiologists in Finland is worsening. A survey was carried out in 2003 among head anesthesiologists and head nurses to clarify current practice and the potentials for reorganizing tasks between anesthesiologists and anesthesia nurses. A national working group analyzed the results.
A questionnaire concerning doctor and nurse resources in anesthesiology, current allocation of tasks, and opinions on how these tasks could be reallocated was sent to 87 head anesthesiologists and 32 head nurses in 45 different hospitals. The answers from the doctors and nurses were compared.
The response rate of doctors and nurses was 87% and 100%, respectively. In the enrolled hospitals there were 64 unoccupied positions for specialists in anesthesiology. The ratio of anesthesiologists to operation rooms (OR) they attended varied between 0.3 and 1.5. Doctors and nurses reported the allocation of tasks quite similarly. The great majority of respondents considered spinal, epidural, and interscalene brachial plexus blocks, and the induction of general anesthesia to be tasks that should be performed by an anesthesiologist. Very few respondents of either profession were willing to reallocate tasks so that nurses could deliver general anesthesia, including endotracheal intubation, even in low-risk patients.
Nurses could be trained nationwide to perform procedures already performed by locally trained nurses in some hospitals. To cope with the shortage of anesthesiologists, other strategies must be adopted in addition to transferring part of their work load to nurses.